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Jewish Journal

Tag: Mysticism

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  • A Soul under Construction.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    1 week ago

    We are not born perfect- into an imperfect world.

    At birth we start with a cry.  Our grand entrance is with closed fists and our exit with open hands.  We circumcise our newborn males. Life is an exercise in humility.  Our hearts are shattered again and again as God seeks our...

  • Enslaving Expectations

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    2 weeks ago

    In 2012, the late Joan Rivers said that Johnny Carson had given her the biggest break of her career.  She became very close to him and even substitute hosted when he was on vacation.  When she accepted her own show, opposite his, Carson cut all tie with Rivers.

    I once acted as an...

  • The Audacity of Hope: Raising Little Messiahs.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    July 14, 2014 | 7:43 pm

    “Seventy years ago these beautiful men would likely have been members of the Nazi party” emailed me a friend while watching Germany battle for the World Cup. 

    I saw another perspective.  As I watched many fellow Jews cheer for Germany, I realized one day peace is possible.

    ...
  • Interviewing The Famous Dead! What Would You Rather Be?

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    June 7, 2014 | 11:28 am

    Once in medical school, a teacher caught me drifting. He verbally beat me up in front of the class. I was quite embarrassed, but more for him than for myself. When he asked why I wasn’t paying attention, I said “because you’ve shown more passion in your assault on me than in...

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  • Shavuot: It’s Complicated!

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    June 2, 2014 | 6:37 am

    At the one year anniversary of their wedding, the newly married couple brings out the wedding video and invites the family over for dinner, retells the stories of how they met, and cuts the cake that's been savored in its frozen state,  uneaten in the first place.  But, as the...

  • Why I Pray For Patients.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    May 29, 2014 | 7:27 am

    When I first met Ralph, he was 82 years old.  He suffered from shortness of breath which started when his wife of 56 years was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer.  Upon further investigation, I diagnosed him with a weak heart and a very tight aortic valve which required immediate...

  • Yes, Your Life Matters!

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    May 21, 2014 | 5:27 pm

    When Ariel, my first born, entered this world, I had a glimpse of what it is to be God. 

    She was born two months early, through an abrupt birth, an emergency C-section.  I was kicked out of the delivery room, though I begged as a father, not as a physician.  Wheeled out inside a...

  • The Taboo of Mental Illness.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    April 30, 2014 | 5:20 pm

    I received a panic call from Jim, who had been a patient for over ten years.  His five year old daughter had passed out.  Amanda was rushed to the ICU for new onset diabetes.  After stabilization, she was transferred by helicopter to a university hospital for an insulin pump...

  • My First Passover Memory in Iran

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    April 16, 2014 | 9:56 pm

    A gasp.  The door flings open.  A stranger walks in.  The crowded room falls into silence.  Hunchbacked, cane in hand, covered in a white Arabic sheet head to toe, only eyes piercing and an imposing white beard, he carries a young child on his back.  The service stops for a...

  • A Passover’s Promise

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    April 14, 2014 | 8:02 am

    Every morn, a wedding proposal
    Out of shackles of bondage
    A procession on golden sands
    A tamed sun, lashes softened by clouds
    A shimmering night, audienced by flickering stars
    Sweet mana showering our covered heads.

    The cracklings of  matzha beneath my molars
    Resonate as...

  • Passover: Using Our Time Wisely.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    April 10, 2014 | 7:20 am

    Time.  Time is all we have.  It is running out.  The desert sands drop a grain at a time through the narrowness of the hour glass.

    “Why, as the inventors of the world’s first fast food, Matza, do we eat it during the longest meal of the year, the Seder?”

    As refugees to the...

  • A Father’s Last Wish

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    April 4, 2014 | 7:24 am

    Mathew was an experienced surgeon. But despite his rank and all supporting diplomas, he could not hold back his tears. Few life events bring to clarity our priorities like the death of a loved one.

    Before his father died, Matt stepped out of his busy schedule to ask the old man...

  • Meet My God

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    March 31, 2014 | 7:33 am

    Throughout life, we redefine love.  We struggle with love as we age from childhood, through the rebellious teenage years, to when we graduate school, to when we seek a family of our own, to when a child enters our lives, to when we lose a parent or experience significant loss, to...

  • Science and Mysticism.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    March 26, 2014 | 3:15 pm

    In my second year of Medical School, during cadaveric dissections, I was struck by how limited our brains are.  We tease apart the dead to unravel the mysteries of life.  How odd!  Friends are shocked to see a physician with background in microbiology drawn to mysticism.  Trying to...

  • Of Kaballah, Rumi and Phantom Limb Pain.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    February 28, 2014 | 7:30 am

    Heather was wounded in battle.  I met her at the Veterans Hospital in La Jolla atop a scenic mountain during my medical school rotation.  She was given the diagnosis of Phantom Limb Pain.  Since her amputation six years before, she felt rocks crawling up her non-existent leg.  She...

  • Who Deserves Unconditional Love?

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    February 20, 2014 | 4:01 pm

    Ruth had a major stroke on her 68th birthday.  Her vibrant spirit turned into that of a cucumber’s.  The team of doctors recommended her to be left in the hospital to die.  That was eight years ago.  Today, she is wheeled in and out of my office on her monthly visits, never late,...

  • The Birds In The Cities

    By Emily Stern

    February 19, 2014 | 9:54 am

    It is nice to see the birds in the city
    because birds are not martyrs.

     

    While standing at the western wall,

    she points to the birds saying surreptitiously,

    "There are no birds at the western wall."

     

    The Ram Bam says that on angels, wings are a metaphor.

    Wings are...

  • Love’s Murmur.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    February 13, 2014 | 12:26 pm

    Tell me of your lonely nights, of the trembling corners of your darkness.
    Tell me of your fleeting fears, both of abandon and of being held.
    Tell me how it was once, of love’s intimate embrace, of days of innocent play.
    Tell me how you thought it would be, of the glory and the...

  • The genesis of psychoanalysis [VIDEO]

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    November 23, 2011 | 12:37 pm

    How the brilliant, disturbed Sabina Spielrein influenced Freud and Jung

    It is the summer of 1912 in “A Dangerous Method” — a film whose storyline is drawn from real-life events — and Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley), a young Russian-Jewish psychoanalyst, is discussing with...

  • The Zodiac and the truth behind astrology

    January 18, 2011 | 2:07 pm

    “Astrology is one of the most ancient sciences, held in high esteem of old, by the wise and the great. Formerly, no prince would make war or peace, nor any general fight in battle, in short, no important affair was undertaken without first consulting an astrologer.”
    - Benjamin...

  • VIDEO: The Bible Code: hoax or holiness?

    By The Web Guy

    August 4, 2007 | 2:48 pm

    Video: Michael Shermer scrutinizes the idea of ‘hidden’ messages in the Torah.

    It’s just numerology, says Shermer, and serves as a supreme example of pattern-seeking (and finding) behavior of which we humans are so skilled. 

    While pattern recognition helps us pick out predators...

  • Hybrid Jews

    By David Suissa

    May 3, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Jews are not a people suited for the status quo. We have a rebellious gene. We can't stand still.

    Look everywhere and you'll see signs of our restlessness.

    The Reform movement is debating whether it has gone too far in moving away from halacha (Jewish law). The Conservatives are...
  • Uri Geller bends self into Israel ‘reality TV’ stardom

    By  Orit Arfa

    December 21, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Israel is no stranger to reality TV. Knockoffs -- or shall we say adaptations -- of popular American TV talent shows, like "American Idol" and "The Apprentice," have become hits. But recently, Israel has developed its own inimitable, highly successful talent contest in which Uri...
  • A Phone Call from our Late Tante Mina

    By Caroline Cobrin

    August 17, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    The words "Message from Tante Mina" showed up on my Aunt Tova's cellphone. Normally this wouldn't be such a big deal, as Tova got messages all the time, but there were several peculiar things about this one.
    1. Tante Mina wasn't programmed into Tova's phone, so how did her name pop...
  • Kabbalah Fashion Statement

    By Mica Rosenberg

    January 23, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    David Shamouelian believes he has tapped into what he thinks is a sure-fire marketing tool: 4,000 years of Jewish mysticism.

    "How do you explain this? You walk into the store and want to buy a blouse for yourself, but you end up buying a dress. Why? Because there is internal energy...

  • Reaching Out

    By Adam Wills

    September 21, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein is talking about kabbalistic teachings with such passion that he pitches forward in his chair, but just as quickly settles back. His arms are a flurry of activity, and he continuously grabs the black kippah that keeps threatening to slip from his head.

    It's...

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